Day six. Like day three, this is distinguished by a double creative act, the production of the higher or land animals and the creation of man, of the latter of which it is perhaps permissible to see a mute prediction in the vegetation which closed the first half of the creative week. And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind. In these words the land animals are generically characterized as nephesh chayyah, or animated beings; in the terms which follow they are subdivided into three well-defined species or classes. Cattle. Behemah; literally, the dumb animal, i.e. the larger grass-eating quadrupeds. And creeping thing. Remes; the moving animal, i.e. the smaller animals that move either without feet or with feet that are scarcely perceptible, such as worms, insects, reptiles. Here it is land-creepers that are meant, the remes of the sea having been created on the previous day. And beast of the earth (chayyah of the earth) after his kind. i.e. wild, roving, carnivorous beasts of the forest. In these three comprehensive orders was the earth commanded to produce its occupants; which, however, no more implied that the animals were to be developed from the soil than were the finny tribes generated by the sea. Simply in obedience to the Divine call, and as the product of creative energy, they were to spring from the plastic dust as being essentially earth-born creatures. And it was so. Modern evolutionists believe they can conceive—they have never yet been able to demonstrate—the modus operandi of the supreme Artificer in the execution of this part of the sixth day's work. Revelation has not deemed it needful to do more than simply state that they were—not, by an evolutionary process carried on through inconceivably long periods of time, developed from the creatures of the fifth day, but—produced directly from the soil by the fiat of Elohim.
And God made (asah, not beta, the principle of life being not now introduced for the first time, as in Genesis 1:21) the beast of the earth (the chayyah) after his kind, and cattle (behemah) after their kind, and every thing that creepeth on the earth (literally, every reraes of the ground) after his kind. The order of creation (Genesis 1:25) differs from that in which they were summoned into existence (Genesis 1:24). The latter may be the order of time, the former the order of rank; or there may have been two divisions of the work, in the former of which the herbivora took the lead, and in the latter the carnivora. According to the witness of geology, "the quadrupeds did not all come forth together. Large and powerful herbivore first take the field, with only a few carnivora. These pass away. Other herbivora, with a larger proportion of carnivora, next appear. These also are exterminated, and so with others. Then the carnivora appear in vast numbers and power, and the herbivore also abound. Moreover, these races attain a magnitude and number far surpassing all that now exist. As the mammalian age draws to a close, the ancient carnivora and herbivora of that era all pass away, excepting, it is believed, a few that are useful to man. New creations of smaller size people the groves". And God saw that it was good. As in the third day's work each branch is sealed by the Divine approbation, so in this. The creation of the higher animals completed the earth's preparation for the advent of man; to which, doubtless, the Creator's commendation of his finished work had a special reference. Everything was in readiness for the magnum opus which was to close his creative labor and crown his completed cosmos.
The importance assigned in the Biblical record to the creation of man is indicated by the manner in which it is introduced. And God said, Let us make man. Having already explained the significance of the term Elohim, as suggesting the fullness of the Divine personality, and foreshadowing the doctrine of the Trinity (Genesis 1:1), other interpretations, such as that God takes counsel with the angels (Philo, Aben Ezra, Delitzsch), or with the earth (Maimonides, M. Gerumlius), or with himself (Kalisch), must be set aside in favor of that which detects in the peculiar phraseology an allusion to a sublime concilium among the persons of the Godhead (Calvin, Macdonald, Murphy). The object which this concilium contemplated was the construction of a new creature to be named Adam; descriptive of either his color, from adam, to be red, (Josephus, Gesenius, Tuch, Hupfeld); or his appearance, from a root in Arabic which signifies "to shine," thus making Adam "the brilliant one;" or his compactness, both as an individual and as a race, from another Arabic root which means "to bring or hold together" (Meier, Furst); or his nature as God's image, from dam, likeness (Eichorn, Richers); or, and most probably, his origin, from adamah, the ground (Kimchi, Rosenmüller, Kalisch). In our image, after our likeness. The precise relationship in which the nature of the Adam about to be produced should stand to Elohim was to be that of a tselem (shadow—vid. Psalms 39:7; Greek, σκιαì σκιì ασμα) and a damuth (likeness, from damah, to bring together, to compare—Isaiah 40:8). As nearly as possible the terms are synonymous. If any distinction does exist between them, perhaps tselem (image) denotes the shadow outline of a figure, and damuth (likeness) the correspondence or resemblance of that shadow to the figure. The early Fathers were of opinion that the words were expressive of separate ideas: image, of the body, which by reason of its beauty, intelligent aspect, and erect stature was an adumbration of God; likeness, of the soul, or the intellectual and moral nature. According to Augustine image had reference to the cognitio veritatis; likeness to amor virtutis. Irenaeus, Clement, and Origen saw in the first man nature as originally created, and in the second what that nature might become through personal ethical conflict, or through the influence of grace. Bellarmine thought "imaginem in natura, similitudinem in probitate et justitia sitam esse," and conceived that "Adamum peccando non imaginem Dei, sed similitudinero perdidisse." Havernick suggests that image is the concrete, and likeness the abstract designation of the idea. Modern expositors generally discover no distinction whatever between the words; in this respect following Luther, who renders an image that is like, and Calvin, who denies that any difference exists between the two. As to what in man constituted the imago Dei, the reformed theologians commonly held it to have consisted
In this connection the profound thought of Maimonides, elaborated by Tayler Lewis (vial. Lunge, in loco), should not be overlooked, that tselem is the specific, as opposed to the architectural, form of a thing; that which inwardly makes a thing what it is, as opposed to that external configuration which it actually possesses. It corresponds to the min, or kind, which determines species among animals. It is that which constitutes 'the genus homo. And let them have dominion. The relationship of man to the rest of creation is now defined to be one of rule and supremacy. The employment of the plural is the first indication that not simply an individual was about to be called into existence, but a race, comprising many individuals The range of man's authority is farther specified, and the sphere of his lordship traced by an enumeration in ascending order, from the lowest to the highest, of the subjects placed beneath his sway. His dominion should extend over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air (literally, the heavens), and over the cattle (the behemah), and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing (romeo) that creepeth upon the earth.
So (or and) God created (bara, as in Genesis 1:1, Genesis 1:21, q.v.) man (literally; the Adam referred to in Genesis 1:26) in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. The threefold repetition of the term "created" should be observed as a significant negation of modern evolution theories as to the descent of man, and an emphatic proclamation of his Divine original. The threefold parallelism of the members of this verse is likewise suggestive, as Umbreit, Ewald, and Delitzsch remark, of the jubilation with which the writer contemplates the crowning work of Elohim's creative word. Murphy notices two stages in man's creation, the general fact being stated in the first clause of this triumphal song, and the two particulars—first his relation to his Maker, and second his sexual distinction—in its other members. In the third clause Luther sees an intimation "that the woman also was created by God, and made a partaker of the Divine image, and of dominion over all."
And God blessed them. Not him, as LXX. As on the introduction of animal life the Divine Creator conferred on the creatures his blessing, so when the first pair of human beings are formed they are likewise enriched by their Creator's benediction. And God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply. As in the case of the lower creatures the Divine blessing had respect in the first instance to the propagation and perpetuation of the species, "which blessing," says Calvin, "may be regarded as the source from which the human race has flowed," a thought in full accord with Scripture teaching generally (cf. Psalms 127:3); yet by making one man and one woman an important distinction was drawn between men and beasts as regards the development of their races and the multiplication of their kind (Malachi 2:7). "Carte fraenum viris et mulieribus non laxavit, at in vagus libidines ruerent, absque delectu et pudore; seda sancto castoque conjugio incipiens, descendit ad generationem" (Calvin). And replenish the earth. The new-created race was intended to occupy the earth. How far during the first age of the world this Divine purpose was realized continues matter of debate (Genesis 10:1-32.). After the Flood the confusion of tongues effected a dispersion of the nations over the three great continents of the old world. At the present day man has wandered to the ends of the earth. Yet vast realms lie unexplored, waiting his arrival. This clause may be described as the colonist's charter. And subdue it. The commission thus received was to utilize for his necessities the vast resources of the earth, by agricultural and mining operations, by geographical research, scientific discovery, and mechanical invention. And have dominion over the fish of the sea, &c. i.e. over the inhabitants of all the elements. The Divine intention with regard to his creation was thus minutely fulfilled by his investiture with supremacy over all the other works of the Divine hand. Psalms 8:1-9. is the "lyric echo" of this original sovereignty bestowed on man.
Provision for the sustenance of the newly-appointed monarch and his subjects is next made. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. Of the three classes into which the vegetable creation was divided, grass, herbs, and trees (Genesis 1:12), the two last were assigned to man for food. Macdonald thinks that without this express conveyance man would have been warranted to partake of them for nourishment, warranted by the necessities of his nature. The same reasoning, however, would have entitled him to kill the lower animals if he judged them useful for his support. Murphy with more truth remarks, "Of two things proceeding from the same creative hand, neither has any original or inherent right to interfere in any way with the other. The absolute right to each lies in the Creator alone. The one, it is true, may need the other to support its life, as fruit is needful to man; and, therefore, the just Creator cannot make one creature dependent for subsistence on another without granting to it the use of that other. But this is a matter between Creator and creature, and not by any means between creature and creature." The primitive charter of man's common property in the earth, and all that it contains, is the present section of this ancient document. Among other reasons for the formal conveyance to man of the herbs and trees may be noted a desire to keep him mindful of his dependent condition. Though lord of the creation, he was yet to draw the means of his subsistence from the creature which he ruled. Whether man was a vegetarian prior to the fall is debated. On the one hand it is contended that the original grant does not formally exclude the animals, and, in fact, says nothing about man's relation to the animals (Macdonald); that we cannot positively affirm that man's dominion over the animals did not involve the use of them for food (Murphy); and that as men offered sacrifices from their flocks, it is probable they ate the flesh of the victims (Calvin), On the other hand it is argued that the Divine language cannot be held as importing morn than it really says, arid that Genesis 9:3 distinctly teaches that man's right to the animal creation dates from the time of Noah (Kalisch, Knobel, Alford, &c.). Almost all nations have traditions of a golden age of innocence, when men abstained from killing animals (cf. Ovid, 'Met.,' 1.103-106). Scripture alone anticipates a. time when such shall again be a characteristic of earth's inhabitants (Isaiah 11:7; Isaiah 65:25).
And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat. The first of the three classes of plants, grass, was assigned to the animals for food. From this Delitzsch infers that prior to the introduction of sin the animals were not predaceous. The geological evidence of the existence of death in prehistoric times is, however, too powerful to be resisted; and the Biblical record itself enumerates among the pre-adamic animals the chayyah of the field, which clearly belonged to the carnivora. Perhaps the most that can be safely concluded from the language is "that it indicates merely the general fact that the support of the whole animal kingdom is based on vegetation" (Dawson).
And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. Literally, lo! good very! Not simply good, but good exceedingly. It is not man alone that God surveys, but the completed cosmos, with man as its crown and glory, decu, set tutamen. "It is not merely a benediction which he utters, but an expression of admiration, as we may say without any fear of the anthropomorphism—Euge, bone proclare!" (T. Lewis). And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. It seems unnecessary to add that this clay corresponds to the Cainozoic or tertiary era of geology, the Palaeontological remains of which sufficiently attest the truth of the Divine record in asserting that animals were anterior to man in their appearance on the earth, and that man is of comparatively recent origin. The alleged evidence of prehistoric man is too fragmentary and hypothetical to be accepted as conclusive; and yet, so far as the cosmogony of the present chapter is concerned, there is nothing to prevent the belief that man is of a much more remote antiquity than 6000 years. As of the other days, so of this the Chaldean tablets preserve an interesting monument. The saventh in the creation series, of which a fragment was discovered in one of the trenches at Konyunjik, runs:—
1. When the gods in their assembly had created ….
2. Were delightful the strong monsters …
3. They caused to be living creatures …
4. Cattle of the field, beasts of the field, and creeping things of the field ….
5. They fixed for the living creatures …
6. Cattle and creeping thing of the city they fixed ….
And the god Nin-si-ku (the lord of noble face) caused to be two … in which it is not difficult to trace an account of the creation of the animal kingdom, and of the first pair of human beings.
The greatness of man.
I. THE TIME OF HIS APPEARANCE. The latest of God's works, he was produced towards the close of the era that witnessed the introduction upon our globe of the higher animals. Taking either view of the length of the creative day, it may be supposed that in the evening the animals went forth "to roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God," and that in the morning man arose upon the variegated scene, "going forth to his work and to his labor until the evening" (Psalms 104:20-23). In thin there was a special fitness, each being created at the time most appropriate to its nature. Man's works are often mistimed; God's never. Likewise in man's being ushered last upon the scene there was peculiar significance; it was a virtual proclamation of his greatness.
II. THE SOLEMNITY OF HIS MAKING, which was preceded by a Divine consultation: "Let us make man," &c. The language of—
1. Resolution. As if, in the production of the other creatures, the all-wise Artificer had been scarcely conscious of an effort, but must now bestir himself to the performance of his last and greatest work.
2. Forethought. As if his previous makings had been, in comparison with this, of so subordinate importance that they might be executed instantaneously and, as it were, without premeditation, whereas this required intelligent arrangement and wise consideration beforehand.
3. Solicitude. As if the insignificance of these other labors made no special call upon his personal, care and attention, whereas the vastness of the present undertaking demanded the utmost possible watchfulness and caution.
4. Delight. As if the fashioning and beautifying of the globe and its replenishing with sentient beings, unspeakably glorious as these achievements were afforded him no satisfaction in comparison with this which he contemplated, the creating of man in his own image (cf. Proverbs 8:31).
III. THE DIGNITY OF HIS NATURE. "Created after God's image and likeness," suggesting ideas of—
1. Affinity, or kinship. The resplendent universe, with its suns and systems, its aerial canopy and green-mantled ground, its Alps and Himalayas, its oceans, rivers, streams, was only as plastic clay in the hands of a skilful potter. Even the innumerable tribes of living creatures that had been let loose to swarm the deep, to cleave the sky, to roam the earth, were animated by a principle of being that had no closer connection with the Deity than that which effect has with cause; but the life which inspired man was a veritable outcome from the personality of God (Genesis 2:7). Hence man was something higher than a creature. As imago Dei he was God's son (Malachi 2:10; Acts 17:28).
2. Resemblance. A distinct advance upon the previous thought, although implied in it. This likeness or similitude consisted in—
3. Representation. Man was created in God's image that he might be a visible embodiment of the Supreme to surrounding creatures. "The material world, with its objects sublimely great or meanly little, as we judge them; its atoms of dust, its orbs of fire; the rock that stands by the seashore, the water that wears it away; the worm, a birth of yesterday, which we trample underfoot; the sheets of the constellations that gleam perennial overhead; the aspiring palm tree fixed to one spot, and the lions that are sent out free—these incarnate and make visible all of God their natures will admit." Man in his nature was intended as the highest representation of God that was possible short of the incarnation of the Word himself.
IV. THE GRANDEUR OF HIS DOMINION. Man was designed to be God's image in respect of royalty and lordship; and as no one can play the monarch without a kingdom and without subjects, God gave him both an empire and a people.
1. An empire.
2. A people.
HOMILIES BY R.A. REDFORD
The sixth day.
We pass from the sea and air to the earth. We are being led to man. Notice—
I. THE PREPARATION IS COMPLETE. Before the earth receives the human being, it brings forth all the other creatures, and God sees that they are good—good in his sight, good for man.
II. THE PURPOSE OF THE WORK IS BENEVOLENT. Cattle, creeping thing, beast of the earth. So man would see them distinguished—the wild from the domestic, the creeping from the roaming, the clean from the unclean. The division itself suggests the immense variety of the Divine provision for man's wants.
III. The incompleteness of the earth when filled with the lower creatures is A TESTIMONY TO THE GREATNESS OF MAN'S SPIRITUAL NATURE; for in comparison with the animal races he is in many respects inferior—in strength, swiftness, and generally in the powers which we call instinct. Yet his appearance is the climax of the earth's creation. "Man is one world, and hath another to attend him." Vegetable, marine, animal life generally, the whole earth filled with what God "saw to be good," waits for the rational and spiritual creature who shall be able to recognize their order and wield dominion over them. Steps and stages in creation lead up to the climax, the "paragon of animals," the god-like creature, made to be king on the earth.—R.
Genesis 1:26, Genesis 1:27
The creation of man.
I. As a revelation of God in his relation to man.
II. As a revelation of man to himself.
I. GOD IN RELATION TO MAN.
1. As the Father as well as Creator. As to the rest of creation, it is said, "Let be," and "it was." As to many "Let us make in our image." Closely kin by original nature, man is invited to intercourse with the Divine.
2. The spirituality of God's highest creature is the bond of union and fellowship. The languages "Let us make," suggests the conception of a heavenly council or conference preparatory to the creation of man; and the new description of the being to be created points to the introduction of a new order of life the spiritual life, as above the vegetable and animal.
3. God entrusts dominion and authority to man in the earth. Man holds from the first the position of a vicegerent for God. There is trust, obedience, responsibility, recognition of Divine supremacy, therefore all the essential elements of religion, in the original constitution and appointment of our nature and position among the creatures.
4. The ultimate destiny of man is included in the account of his beginning. He who made him in his image, "one of us," will call him upward to be among the super-earthly beings surrounding the throne of the Highest. The possession of a Divine image is the pledge of eternal approximation to the Divine presence. The Father calls the children about himself.
II. MAN REVEALED TO HIMSELF. "The image and likeness of God." What does that contain? There is the ideal humanity.
1. There is an affinity in the intellectual nature between the human and the Divine. In every rational being, though feeble in amount of mental capacity, there is a sense of eternal necessary truth. On some lines the creature and the Creator think under the same laws of thought, though the distance be immeasurable.
2. Man's by original creation absolutely free from moral taint. He is therefore a fallen being in so far as he is a morally imperfect being. He was made like God in purity, innocence, goodness.
3. The resemblance must be in spirit as well as in intellect and moral nature. Man was made to be the companion of God and angels, therefore there is in his earthly existence a superearthly, spiritual nature which must be ultimately revealed.
4. Place and vocation are assigned to man on earth, and that in immediate connection with his likeness to God. He is ruler here that he may be prepared for higher rule elsewhere. He is put in his rank among God's creatures that he may see himself on the ascent to God. Man belongs to two worlds. He is like God, and yet he is male and female, like the lower animals, lie is blessed as other creatures with productive power to fill the earth, but he is blessed for the sake of his special vocation, to subdue the earth, not for himself, but for God.
5. Here is the end of all our endeavor and desire—to be perfect men by being like God. Let us be thankful that there is a God-man in whom we are able to find our ideal realized. We grow up into him who is our Head. We see Jesus crowned with glory and honor. When all things are put under him, man will see the original perfection of his creation restored.
6. Man is taught that he need not leave the earthly sphere to be like God. There has been a grand preparation of his habitation. From a mere chaotic mass the earth has by progressive stages reached a state when it can become the scene of a great moral experiment for man's instruction. The god-like is to rule over all other creatures, that he may learn the superiority of the spiritual. Heavenly life, communion, society, and all that is included in the fellowship of man with God, may be developed in the condition of earth. Grievous error in early Church and Eastern philosophy—confusion of the material and evil. Purity does not require an immaterial mode of existence. Perfection of man is perfection of his dominion over earthly conditions, matter in subjection to spirit. Abnormal methods, asceticism, self-crucifixion, mere violence to original constitution of man. The "second Adam" overcame the world not by forsaking it, but by being in it, and yet not of it.
7. God's commandments to man are commandments of Fatherly love. "Behold, I have given you," &c. He not only appoints the service, but he provides the sustenance. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God," &c. Here is the union of creative power and providential goodness. We are blessed in an earthly life just as we take it from the hand of God as a trust to be fulfilled for him. And in that obedience and dependence we shall best be able to reach the ideal humanity. The fallen world has been degrading man, physically, morally, spiritually; he has been less and less what God made him to be. But he who has come to restore the kingdom of God has come to uplift man and fill the earth with blessedness.—R.
The first chapter closes with a review of the whole work of the six days. God saw it. Behold, it was very good!
I. The SATISFACTION was in the completion of the earthly order in man, the highest earthly being. For God's good is not, like man's good" a compromise, too often, between the really good and the really evil, but the attainment of the highest—the fulfillment of his Divine idea, the top-stone placed upon the temple with shoutings: "Grace, grace unto it."
II. "The evening and the morning were the sixth day." OUT OF THE NIGHT OF 'THE INFINITE PAST CAME FORTH THE DAWN OF THE INTELLECTUAL AND SPIRITUAL WORLD. And when God saw that, then he said, It is very good. So let us let our faces towards that light of heaven on earth, the day of Divine revelation, Divine intercourse with man, the pure and perfect bliss of an everlasting paradise, in which God and man shall find unbroken rest and joy in one another.—R.